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Uncertain times in lockout puts 'business as usual' on hold

Now that we're past the draft, there's no more feigning "business as usual" for football types. Until now, they could operate as such, sans the open of free agency.

If the NFL is granted a stay of the injunction to lift the lockout, which would put everything back on hold at least through mid-June, we're entering uncharted territory. And that means different things for different teams.

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There are logistical hurdles ahead to clear.

First, the league generally shuts down in late June and early July, and that's when most coaches and scouts take their time off. But now, the possibility exists that time could be filled with minicamps or abbreviated OTAs, in lieu of those happening now and if the injunction is ultimately upheld by the 8th Circuit, to get players ready for training camp.

So some teams have plans to give people time off in May and early June, to prepare for the possibility the normal down time of the year is encroached on.

Second, there's the uncertainty. Just about every team has a plan for the first 48-72 hours of the league year, whenever that comes. From there, though, there are more contingencies to prepare for. One NFC team's head coach has "15 different plans," based on when the starter's gun is shot. Another team has a series of plans for free agency, based on what the rules are, and whether fifth- and sixth-year guys come free.

Third, there's the fact that the draft is now in the rearview mirror, and that means it's time to reset the free-agent board that most teams set, per usual, prior to the lockout.

So there remains a lot to plan for, with uncertainty hovering over everything.

Follow Albert Breer on Twitter @albertbreer.

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